If you have hepatitis A, our food poisoning lawyers can help you get compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages.
Our lawyers help people sue restaurants, food companies, and drug companies who sell products contaminated with the virus. Pritzker Hageman attorneys have won food poisoning cases against Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Costco, and others. They have won millions for their clients. Eric Hageman and his team of food poisoning lawyers are experienced with hepatitis A lawsuits.
What is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A, a liver disease, is caused by an infection from the hepatitis A virus. However, not everyone who is infected with the virus will have symptoms of the illness. In most cases, the illness is characterized by mild, flu-like gastrointestinal symptoms. But it can also impair proper functioning of the liver and even lead to death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each year in the United States an estimated 143,000 cases of hepatitis A infection occur, but only around 30,000 are reported.
Hepatitis A Symptoms
People who are infected with the hepatitis A virus may not have any signs or symptoms. Unfortunately, infected individuals are most contagious before there are any signs of symptoms.
Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include yellowing of the skin and eyes, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, light-colored stools, and dark urine. These symptoms usually develop between two to eight weeks after exposure.
How is Hepatitis A Spread?
The hepatitis A virus is spread from person to person by “fecal-oral” transmission. This means the virus is transmitted when a person puts something in his/her mouth that has been contaminated with the stool of a person infected with the virus. Because this virus depends on the fecal-oral route for transmission, the illness is most easily spread under poor sanitary conditions or when good personal hygiene is not observed.
Outbreaks are often traced back to contaminated food. Food supplies can become contaminated when infected workers come into contact with food supplies during processing or in restaurants.
The foods most commonly associated with outbreaks are water, shellfish, and salads. Other common sources are: cold cuts, pre-made sandwiches, unwashed fruit, fruit juices, milk products, vegetables, salads, shellfish, and iced drinks.
Most people who become infected return to normal health. Although the illness is more common in children, it is often more severe in adults. More than one-fifth of adult hepatitis A patients require hospitalization. In severe cases, this virus can cause inflammation and swelling of the liver. This can impair liver function and cause permanent damage to the liver.
How Can a Hepatitis A Lawyer Get Me Compensation?
A good hepatitis lawyer will:
- Gather evidence needed to connect your illness to a specific food product or location.
- Interview you and others about how you contracted the illness and how it adversely affected your life.
- Send a demand letter to the company or companies responsible once enough evidence has been gathered.
- Negotiate with attorneys representing the company.
- Take your case to court if settlement negotiations fail.
Hepatitis A Outbreaks and Warnings
March 2023 Frozen Strawberries linked to Washington Outbreak
At least five cases of Hepatitis A in Washington state have been linked to frozen strawberries sold at Costco, Trader Joe’s, ALDI, KeHe PCC Community Markets, and Vital Choice Seafood under the brand names: Kirkland Signature, Simply Nature Vital Choice PCC, and Trader Joe’s. The berries were grown in Baja and shipped by California Splendor and Scenic Fruit.
On May 28th, 2022, the FDA announced they had determined a likely link between a hepatitis A outbreak that had sickened at least 17 people in three states and fresh organic strawberries sold under the FreshKampa and HEB brand names. At least 12 people have been hospitalized so far in this outbreak.
The affected strawberries were sold between March 5, 2022 and April 25, 2022 and are now past their shelf live and are no longer available in stores, but some consumers may have frozen them for later use. The strawberries were sold nationwide in the U.S. and Canada. Known illness onset dates so far range from March 28, 2022 to April 30, 2022, but it can take up to 50 days for hepatitis symptoms to appear.
Retailers known to have sold the affected strawberries include: Aldi, HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts, Farmers Market, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Weis Markets, and WinCo Foods
If you aren’t sure whether or not you purchased these berries and froze some in that time frame, throw them away. If you consumed these strawberries and have been diagnosed with Hepatitis A, contact the lawyers on our Hepatitis food safety legal team.
May 2022 Hepatitis A Health Alert for Luigi’s Restaurant in Roanoke, VA
A food service employee at the Luigi’s restaurant on 3301 Brambleton Ave, Roanoke, VA 24018 tested positive for Hepatitis A. Because Hepatitis A presents a risk for serious medical complications and death, the Roanoke City Health Department is offering hepatitis A vaccine to anyone who ate at Luigi’s between the dates of April 26 – May 17, 2022.
2022 Hepatitis A Outbreak at King Soopers in Wheat Ridge, CO
On April 6, 2022, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) released alert warning shoppers of potential exposure to Hepatitis A at King Soopers in Wheat Ridge. A food handler tested positive for Hepatitis A at the store located at 5301 West 38th Avenue. JCPH says the incident is unrelated to international travel or local disease transmission. No other King Soopers locations have been affected. Shoppers at risk for Hepatitis A exposure include the following:
- Those who purchased and consumed deli meats and/or cheeses sliced on-site at the deli between March 20 and March 30
- Those who consumed on-site sandwiches containing deli meats and/or cheese between March 20 and March 30
2022 Hepatitis A Outbreak at Gino’s Ristorante & Pizzeria
In January 2022, a hepatitis A outbreak was linked to Gino’s Ristorante & Pizzeria in West Norriton, PA. The outbreak includes at least 11 illnesses and seven hospitalizations. One death has been confirmed, another is under investigation. The county health department has temporarily closed the restaurant while the investigation is ongoing.
2021 Hepatitis A Outbreak at Famous Anthony’s in Roanoke, VA
In 2021, a hepatitis A outbreak linked to Famous Anthony’s restaurants in Roanoke, VA sicked more than 50 people. Thirty-one people were hospitalized, four people died. Health officials say the source of the outbreak, was an infected employee who worked at three Famous Anthony’s locations.
2019 Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Fresh Blackberries Sold at Fresh Thyme Market Stores
In 2019-2020, a hepatitis A outbreak linked to fresh blackberries sold at Fresh Thyme Market stores sickened at least 20 people, 11 of whom were hospitalized. The fresh conventional blackberries were sold at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market and Woodman’s Market. The patients, who ranged in age from 14 to 73 years old, reported onset of symptoms on dates ranging from October 8, 2019, to November 15, 2019. The number of illnesses reported from each state was: IN (3), MI (1), MN (1), MO (1), NE (7), PA (1), and WI (6).
2016 Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A Outbreak
In 2016, strawberries imported from Egypt were identified as the source of a 9-state hepatitis A outbreak linked to Tropical Smoothie Cafes that sickened 134. The case count by state was: Arkansas (1), California (1), Maryland (12), New York (5), North Carolina (4), Oregon (1), Virginia (109), West Virginia (7), and Wisconsin (3). Fifty-six ill persons were hospitalized.
2016 Genki Sushi Restaurant Hepatitis A Outbreak
In 2016, frozen scallops were identified as the source of a hepatitis A outbreak at Genki sushi restaurants in Hawaii that sickened over 160 people. Restaurants on Oahu and Kauai were temporarily closed on order from the State of Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH).
2013 Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Townsend Farms Berries Sold at Costco
In 2013, a 10-state hepatitis A outbreak linked to Townsend Farms berries sold at certain Costco stores sickened 162 people. The patients reported the onset of illness on dates ranging from April 29, 2013, to May 21, 2013. The number of cases reported from each state was: Arizona (23), California (79), Colorado (28), Hawaii (8), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (11), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2). On June 4, 2013, Townsend Farms, Inc. of Fairview, Oregon recalled certain lots of its frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend because of potential hepatitis A virus contamination. The recall was expanded on June 28, 2013.